Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

The Collaboration Between Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango: Background information when reading The Queen of Water

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Queen of Water

A novel based on a true story

by Laura Resau, Maria Virginia Farinango

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau, Maria Virginia Farinango X
The Queen of Water by Laura Resau, Maria Virginia Farinango
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 368 pages

    Paperback:
    Mar 2012, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Ellis Smith
Buy This Book

About this Book

The Collaboration Between Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango

This article relates to The Queen of Water

Print Review

Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango

In the author's note in The Queen of Water, Laura Resau tells the story of walking into María Virginia Farinango's small shop one snowy day. She had met María Virginia once before at the small community college where Laura taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and María Virginia was taking a class with Laura's colleague. Of this meeting she writes:

Because of the weather, [María Virginia's] store was deserted except for the two of us and her toddler son. It felt cozy there, wrapped in musty wool smells. I ended up staying for hours, sitting cross-legged on the floor with her. She told me the story of her life... Throughout her story, the cultural anthropologist in me was riveted, and the writer in me was jumping up and down. I desperately wanted to write this story. María Virginia concluded, 'One of my dreams is to write a book about my life.' She smiled. 'But I want to do it with an experienced author.' I burst out, 'I'd love to do it!'

And so their work together began.

In their partnership, the two women had to create a safe, trusting, and respectful space between them, and they had to find a way to facilitate the actual writing of the story while sharing time, energy, and some intensely personal pieces of information. As I am immensely interested in this process - a collaboration with another person in which the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts - I contacted Laura Resau and asked her about her experience. This is what she said:

This collaboration was very special to me. While I was studying for my masters degree in cultural anthropology, I focused on indigenous women's issues in Latin America. I read tons of journal articles and books on the subject, and, in my own research, I spent time with indigenous Oaxacan women of all ages who shared their life stories with me. For me, the opportunity to do a more in-depth, collaborative project with María Virginia was a dream come true, and it brought me to an entirely new level of understanding of how it feels to be an indigenous woman.

During years of intense interviews and conversations, María Virginia and I went so much deeper than my graduate school research had allowed. We had to thoroughly dissect and analyze hundreds of her life experiences - with special attention to the most painful ones. We both knew that in order to make her story gripping and moving, we had to delve deep into sensitive territory. Our process probably had a lot in common with intensive therapy (and she did feel unexpected therapeutic benefits, actually!) In this way, I came as close as possible to being inside her memories, her thoughts, her feelings, her skin - it was a profoundly emotional experience for me. It's a rare and precious thing when a person trusts you to get this close. María Virginia and I hope our readers experience this in some way too.


Photo credit: Ken Burgess

Filed under Books and Authors

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Queen of Water. It originally ran in May 2011 and has been updated for the March 2012 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...
  • Book Jacket: Say Hello to My Little Friend
    Say Hello to My Little Friend
    by Jennine CapĂł Crucet
    Twenty-year-old Ismael Reyes is making a living in Miami as an impersonator of the rapper/singer ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.